Trouser Press Turns 50

Saturday, March 16th, Trouser Press will celebrate its 50th birthday – and launch Zip It Up! The Best of Trouser Press Magazine 1974-1984 – with a gala party at Bowery Electric in New York. Trouser Press co-founder Ira Robbins will host.

Sinéad O’Connor: In Conversation 2007

This interview with Sinéad O’Connor took place at La Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood on June 18, 2007. She was in Los Angeles to promote her eighth album, Theology (which was released the day the interview took place), and to play an acoustic show at the intimate Silent Movie Theatre the following day.

Nuggets 4Ever

Nuggets has come to be regarded as one of the most essential, influential compilations of the last century. One element that sets it apart, given the era in which it was assembled, is the fact that it didn’t set out to be a greatest hits of anyone or anything. And while the billing as “Original Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968” suggests that it surveys a particular type of music, that’s not really the case.

The Cure in the Hall of Fame

A review of “Three Imaginary Boys,” the Cure’s debut album, ran in the Melody Maker of May 12th, 1979, under the headline ‟The Eighties Start Here.” In England, the magnificent fury of ’77 punk rock was already being consigned to cliché: The best bands were off to new stylistic adventures, and the ones they inspired into existence were moving even further afield.

Flashback: Liz Phair 1993

On May 13, 1993, working on a “new faces” assignment for Rolling Stone, I had the occasion to speak with Liz Phair over the phone, shortly before the release — 30 years ago now — of her debut album, an instant classic which became a touchstone for a generation of indie rockers.

Who d’ King of the Whole Wide World? Bun E. Carlos!

“I was always Bun, from the time I was 4. Tom started calling me Bunny in Philadelphia, and that kind of stuck. I made it an initial E. I adopted a stage name so the band didn’t sound like a bunch of Swedes. I changed Carlson to Carlos. If I would have known we were going to be famous I never would have picked Carlos.”

Scott Miller, 10 Years On

Scott Miller of the Loud Family and Game Theory took his life in April 2013. This reflection and appreciation was written at the time. Augmented with audio excepts from a 1993 interview.

Souvenir From a Dream: Memories of Tom Verlaine

In late 1975, two Trouser Press writers brought Tom Verlaine of the then-unsigned band Television up to their apartment for an interview. This hour-long conversation has never previously been published. Here, it is accompanied by an introductory essay by the novelist Bruce Bauman as well as audio clips from their conversation.

Reading About Writing

Paul Gorman’s chronicle of the music press augments his 2001 oral history but again does not bring the story into the 21st Century.

Inscribed in Rock: Jimi Hazel’s Mt. Rushmore

For the past 35 years or so, guitarist Jimi Hazel has been leading 24-7 Spyz, a New York band that plays a fluid mixture of metal, funk, R&B, reggae and rock with both confidence and skill. In 2019, the “heavy metal soul pioneers from the Boogie Down Bronx” returned with The Soundtrack to the Innermost Galaxy, an eclectic style-jumper of instrumental virtuosity, heavy power, upbeat positivity and stirring commentary.

The Senior Class: Robert Downey and “Sr.”

A collaboration between Robert Downey Jr. and his dad, “Sr.” is a father-son movie about making a father-son movie, a loving but tentative pas de deux between a cocky superstar who normally doesn’t take shit from anyone and the genial white-haired joker to whom he naturally defers.

Creedence Clearwater: Revived

A new documentary turns a much-needed spotlight on a band whose many hits are suffused deep and wide into the soil of American music, but one that has long been taken for granted, underrated even. Ironically, the bludgeoning familiarity of John Fogerty’s Creedence songbook has had, with time, the effect of obscuring the diversity and economy of his amazing creative run through the Woodstock era.

Pavement ’97

With Pavement on the road again, here’s a 1997 profile of the band by Ira Robbins.

L.A. Blues: Fun House, Miles Davis and the Eve Babitz Effect

The sway that avant-garde jazz held over the Stooges went beyond sonic influence. John Coltrane’s wild sax playing inspired Iggy’s dancing. “I was at my manager’s flat, and played this record…it was John Coltrane. It scared me at first, and really annoyed me…it took me months to get next to that…I thought, ‘Wow, how could I do that?’ I thought…I can’t play an instrument like that, but maybe I could do it with my body when I sing.”

Roger Shepherd and Flying Nun Records

Founded in 1981 by Roger Shepherd, Flying Nun Records set out to document the rock scene in the New Zealand cities of Dunedin and Christchurch. Starting with the Pin Group’s “Ambivalence” single, the label has survived for more than 40 years, with hundreds of releases to its name.